Friday, 19 August 2011

"Postre Chaja" Pavlova

My version of a traditional Uruguayan dessert. This is called "Postre Chaja" Pavlova inspired by Porteño.  Don't eat the whole plate yourself!

300 gm   caster sugar
3   mangoes, cheeks removed and quartered lengthways, seeds reserved
100 gm   blanched peanuts
1 tbsp   extra-virgin olive oil
300 gm   double cream, whipped
300 gm   dulce de leche
8   eggwhites
440 gm (2 cups)   caster sugar
2 tsp   cornflour
1 tsp   white vinegar
Sponge cake*
6   eggs
185 gm   caster sugar
185 gm   plain flour
90 gm   butter, melted and cooled   

 *You can easily buy ready made meringues and sponge cakes at your local groceries.

1 For meringues, preheat oven to 100C. Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (3-4 minutes), then, whisking continuously, gradually add sugar and whisk until firm and glossy (2-3 minutes). Whisk in cornflour and vinegar, then spoon into rough 10cm-diameter mounds on baking trays lined with baking paper. Bake until crisp but not coloured (1½-2 hours), cool completely, break into chunks and store in an airtight container until required.
2 For sponge cake, increase oven to 180C. Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (5-6 minutes), then sieve over flour and fold to combine. Fold in melted butter, then spread in a 25cm x 35cm cake tin buttered and lined with baking paper. Bake until cake is light golden and centre springs back when lightly pressed (20-25 minutes), cool completely, then break into large pieces and store in an airtight container until required.
3 Meanwhile, combine sugar and 300ml water in a saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, add reserved mango seeds, remove from heat and stand for 15 minutes. Strain into a bowl (discard seeds), add mango cheeks and refrigerate until well chilled (2-3 hours).
4 Meanwhile, reduce oven to 150C. Spread peanuts on an oven tray and roast, stirring occasionally, until golden (4-5 minutes).Transfer to a bowl, add oil and 2 tsp fine salt, stir to coat, cool. Coarsely chop and set aside.
5 Arrange meringue, sponge cake, mango, and spoonfuls of cream and dulce de leche on a serving plate, scatter with roast peanuts and serve.

This recipe is by Ben Milgate & Elvis Abrahanowiczy from the December 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

The original version at Porteño.


  1. Uy eso si que no es un postre chaja. El chaja es biscochuelo,duraznos en almibar,crema doble y merengue. No lleva dulce de leche.

    1. Hi osiituus.
      Thanks for your feedback. I deconstructed my postre chaja and the recipe I got it from added dulce de leche to make it a bit different, I guess but that's just their version which actually tasted really good too. Photo below is the one served at the restaurant (Porteno).